The ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court this summer declaring that same sex marriages are legal is possibly the most destructive, disruptive, and damaging decision ever to be made by the high court. It was actually not a decision made on legislation, but rather a redefinition of marriage. For the entire history of our country and in fact, centuries farther back, marriage has been understood clearly as a relationship between a man and a woman. Most of the thought process through the ages has been rooted in what the Bible says: “God created them male and female.” In the unfolding relationship, God brought together one man and one woman. It was a gift from heaven and became the building block upon which civilizations have stood for millennia.
The Supreme Court ruling removed the boundaries of what marriage has been and not only invited same sex couples to marry, it opened the door for the discussion and the litigation over what else can be considered marriage. The Supreme Court made their ruling on the basis of giving everyone marriage equality. Already there have been those who want to go to court that are creating a larger circle of marriage with a man and two or three women, and what keeps them from being equal in the relationship?
The decision came about under the onslaught of pressure from the LGBT movement (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender). It was aided and encouraged by the positioning of same sex marriage as a civil rights issue as opposed to having any moral context for society. It is very probable that for our country, removing those parameters of what marriage has always been will allow marriage to be something new that we do not even know where it will now go. The foundational structure of our society has been removed.
Of course, there were strong, loud voices calling for this equality, not the least of which was the President of the United States who came to the office holding to the biblical view of one man and one woman and in mid-presidential service changed his mind. The only problem is that God’s plan did not change for either the President’s new view or the Supreme Court’s new ruling. The day of the ruling, I received a phone call from a man who said, “Well, since the Supreme Court has ruled, what do we do now?” I responded by saying, “What do you mean what do we do now? We do what we have been doing.” He said, “Well, the Supreme Court says it is legal and that will be the new marriage form.” I said, “No, we will continue doing what God has taught us in His Word.” There are laws that support those decisions.
I know the Supreme Court justices have the ultimate word on legal issues in our land, but they do not have the ultimate word about all things pertaining to life. God created and ordained marriage and we will continue to teach His Word and focus on His best plan. It is that same court process that brought us the decision that has led to the legal destruction of over 50 million children through abortion. Because of the court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, is there any sense of acceptance that that is what we should do and practice? God forbid! We are people of the Book, the Word of the living God.
So, what does God say about homosexuality? Let me begin by just saying that homosexuality has long been with us. You do not have to read far in the Bible from the creation of man to Genesis 19, where you come face-to-face with radical homosexuality being pronounced and promoted in those twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. There is Lot, living in the midst of all of that degradation and corruption. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. God in His own way and time dealt with it back then, and God in His own way and time will deal with us. Clearly, one does not have to be a Bible scholar in order to understand God’s position. It is very clear in Scripture that God declares sex outside of marriage — either with the opposite sex or same sex attraction — as forbidden, and it is detrimental.
It is not difficult to understand what God is teaching His newly formed nation of people. He says in Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is an abomination.” As with the first couple in the Garden of Eden that faced a choice with all of the blessings that God had given them or choosing the one tree in the garden that God said to leave alone, you and I face choices in every area of our lives. To ignore God’s clear teaching on the proper path for sexuality as opposed to a personal path can be to our own detriment.
Writing to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul said, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?” (1 Cor. 6:9). He had to see that neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (referring to one aspect of homosexuality), nor abusers (referring to those who are taking advantage of people homosexually), nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revelers, nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God.
Now this is a vivid description of a number of groups including those that would abuse themselves in following a same sex attraction, but there is hope, there is salvation, and there is life change, for in verse 11 of 1 Corinthians 6 Paul says, “And such were some of you.” God can work in any of our situations to save us, bring us out, and give us new life — but not here in 1 Corinthians nor anywhere does the Bible promote the values and the rightness of homosexual behavior.
Across the land there are churches that identify themselves as “welcoming and affirming.” These churches posture themselves as being open to homosexual and lesbian couples and individuals, but in reality they are more than just what may appear to be. I do not know of any of our churches that do not welcome people into their midst. I mean by that they may be drunkards, cheating in business, having an affair, or they may be a homosexual. Few churches lock their doors and kick out anybody that wants to come to worship and to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which in itself is the transforming moment.
When it comes to affirming, the truth is that some churches not only welcome people but affirm a non-biblical lifestyle. Their position may be better defined as supporting, or even more, promoting a lifestyle that is outside the will of God. Churches that do that are not seeking to follow the teaching of Scripture and are not in friendly cooperation with the mission and the purpose of the Mississippi Baptist Convention. Should the Convention therefore disassociate itself from that church? The reality is that in their stated position of an unbiblical lifestyle, such churches have disassociated themselves from the Convention.
These are difficult days, for never in our history have we had leaders who have stepped so far from biblical truth. We have never seen our government so radically force individuals and institutions to embrace lifestyles with which they disagree. For the first time in our history, a person has been imprisoned for their view of marriage. Yet we must remain anchored to the unchanging Word of God. In a world of cultural chaos and marches and clamoring, we must not lose sight of the fact of who we are and what God has called us to do. We are all sinners and only Jesus can save any of us. The Good News from heaven is that anyone and everyone can come to Jesus and be saved. We stand with our living Lord and proclaim His message to all people everywhere.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.